Science and Systems

Week 6

The influence of science on technology and the rise of technological systems

In the late 19th century we saw the rise of science based industries. Synthetic dies, poison gases, DC light bulbs, AC Systems and analogue computers are examples of the science-and-systems era. Research Laboratories and patent litigation and the capital-intensive corporations are amongst the innovations of this time. These reshaped the meaning of technology and the methods of technological innovation and use.


09.00 - 12.00 Class room: Lecture and seminar

Core readings:


Misa Ch. 5 
Discussion 1:

Thomas P. Hughes,”Edison and electric light,” in Donald MacKenzie and Judy Wajcman (eds.)

“The Social Shaping of Technology” (2nd edition, Buckingham, 1999): 50-63.

Discussion 2:

Cooper, Christopher, "The truth about Tesla. The myth of the lone genius in the history of innovation", ch. 4, 2015 

Discussion 3:

Beauchamp, Christopher, "Who Invented the Telephone?. Laywers, Patents and the Judgments of History", Technology and Culture 51 (2010): 854-878 Vol. 51




Supplementary Readings:


Thomas P. Hughes,

“Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930, “

Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.


Daniel R. Headrick,

The Invisible Weapon,

Oxford University Press, 1991.
22 JUNI 2018